Enjoy six days of quiet roads, idyllic landscapes and some of the loveliest settings a cyclist is likely to come across on this tour of Northern Lake IJssel. Along the way you'll come across picturesque and friendly towns, stunning natural vistas and the impressive manmade lake itself. All the while, your luggage will be safely transported ahead to comfortable hotels where you'll spend each night.
Total cycling distance: 193km
Day One: Arrival
This cycle tour of the northern part of Lake IJssel begins in the small city of Harderwijk, which lies at the center of the Netherlands. The city itself is an 80-minute train journey from Amsterdam Airport, and readily accessible by road. To ensure you start the tour rested and relax, the first night is spent in one of the city's hotel, which comes equipped with free parking for those arriving by road.
Sample hotel: Hotel Monopole or BW Baars
Day Two: Harderwijk to Enkhuizen (63 km)
The opening leg of the tour takes in the Flevopolder in Flevoland, the Netherland's youngest province. Consisting of land entirely reclaimed from the sea, the route features plenty of scenic farmland and woodland before passing through the town of Lelystad.
Named for Cornelis Lely, the engineer who instigated the Afsluitdijk causeway and the Zuiderzee Works which made it possible to reclaim the region's polders, the town is home to the Nieuwland Museum, which offers an insightful look at the history of this part of the Netherlands.
From Lelystad the tour route crosses an expansive dike 32 kilometers in length and heads on to the town of Enkhuizen where your next hotel lays in wait.
Sample hotel: Hotel Post van Cleve
Day Three: Enkhuizen-Oudemirdum (43km, including boat trip)
Day 3 offers a chance to immerse yourself in the history of the region as well as the opportunity to take in some truly stunning scenery during a lake crossing.
At the Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuizen you can learn about how Edam cheese was exported across the globe from the city's port, and how wine and grain frequently passed through Enkhuizen when it was a harbor town for the Dutch East India Company. You can also witness a recreation of the old village, complete with actors in traditional costume.
After marveling at what the museum has to offer, take a ferry across Lake IJssel to the quaint town of Stavoren. The ferry ride itself takes 90 minutes as it crosses the vast manmade lake, which was created in 1932 when a dam was put in place to prevent the North Sea flooding local villages.
On the other side of the lake lies the province of Friesland, a unique corner of the country which boasts its own language, as demonstrated by its bilingual road signs. Spend the night in the village of Oudemirdum and be sure to try Fryske Dumkes. These hazelnut biscuits are the local specialty.
Sample hotel: Hotel Boschlust
Day Four: Oudemirdum - Zwartsluis (61 km)
Day 4 of the tour serves up the opportunity to take in quaint towns, sprawling national parks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Depart Oudemirdum and head for the charming town of Lemmer. En route you'll pass through the rolling woodlands of Gaasterland, which make for a scenic backdrop against which to cycle. Lemmer itself is a popular destination for boaters and water sports enthusiasts, particularly during the summer months.
Located near to Lemmer is the ir.D.F. Woudagemaal pumping station. Built in 1920 to replace the role of windmills in local water management, this steam pumping station was utilized in the draining of Lake IJsselmeer. In 1998, the station - which remains operational - was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Regular tours of the station are available.
After the impressive industrialism of the pumping station, head to the Weerribben-WiedenNational Park, which is home to some fantastic scenery. Take in the water-based vegetation and fresh air while you consider this is deemed the most valuable marshland in this part of Europe. From the national park, head for the city of Zwartsluis and rest up in preparation for tomorrow's cycling.
Sample hotel: Hotel Zwartewater
Day Five: Zwartsluis - Harderwijk (61 km)
Day 5 brings with it the final cycling route of the tour, a route that once more includes plenty of history and stunning scenery.
Spend the early part of the morning exploring Zwartsluis and, if the mood takes you, get involved in some boating or watersports. Saddle up and then set off across the Kamperzeedijkeen (sea dikes) en route to the beautiful town of Kampen.
This Hanseatic town offers plenty of historical buildings to take in, and is largely considered to be one of the best preserved town centers of the period. Be sure to check out the Koornmarktpoort city gate located near the lake, as well as the Bovenkerk church which looms above the town.
Back on the saddle, follow the Veluwe Forest back to Harderwijk and enjoy one more night in the region.
Sample hotel: Hotel Monopole or BW Baars
Day Six: Departure
Having taken in the best scenery this part of Lake IJssel has to offer, the tour comes to a close. After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, it's time to return home.
Total distance: 193 km
Average distance: 48 km
Shortest distance: 18 km
Longest distance: 60 km
Time in the Year
From April 1st to September 25th.
464 Euro per person
5 nights‘ double/twin room bed & breakfast accommodation in *** or **** hotels
Luggage transfer between hotels
Tour book with detailed route descriptions and maps
Panniers for carrying things you need on the road
Emergency hotline operating 7 days a week from 7:00 to 23:00
7 gear bike hire - 60 euro (for other options please go to our bike hire page)
Road Service - 12 euro
Bike theft insurance - 3 euro per day (6 euro for electric bikes)
Single room - 150 Euro
Half board accommodation - 137.50 euro
Extra night - 70 euro
Discounts / Group prices:
3 people sharing a room:
A child aged 0-4 sharing a room with their parents is free of charge
A child aged 4-12 sharing a room with their parents enjoys a 20% discount
3 people over 12 years old sharing a room enjoy a 3% discount
A group of 5-6 people enjoys a 5% discount per person
A group of 7-8 people enjoys a 7% discount per person
A group of 9 people or more enjoys a 10% discount per person